Fans of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird rejoiced in February when the famously reclusive author announced a forthcoming HarperCollins title, Go Set a Watchman.
However, rumors immediately circulated that Lee, now 88 and residing at an assisted-living facility, may have been burdened to release a book against her volition. The state of Alabama is currently investigating whether Lee was subjected to elder-care abuse in her hometown of Monroeville, Ala.
Given Lee’s literary stature, it is clear that any upcoming book would likely spell commercial success for the publisher, literary agent and author. However, Lee’s decades of withdrawal from the spotlight had fans and friends questioning if she had a genuine wish to publish the novel at all.